Michigan regulator and Attorney General seize and destroy unlicensed gaming machines

September 27, 2023

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has issued a statement showing that its ongoing investigations into unregulated gaming machines have resulted in destruction of the devices to eliminate re-sale.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has released a statement declaring the ‘successful destruction’ of illegal gaming machines. The unlicensed machines were seized by the Attorney General and disposed of at the City Recycling junkyard in Detroit as part of an aim to combat illegal gambling in the state.

The MGCB has been conducting investigations into unlicensed gaming machines, which, in Michigan, are illegal if the machines involve ‘elements of consideration, prize and chance’ and include skill games. States also aiming to crack down on skill games or video gambling machines placed in unregulated locations outside of slot machines in a casino environment include Kentucky, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The regulator clarified that the machines were destroyed with heavy machinery so that no parts could be reappropriated and used in future, and no machines could be re-sold. According to the MGCB, there are approximately 580,651 unregulated gaming machines in the US, and 870,000 regulated machines in casinos throughout the country making nearly 40% of all gaming devices unlicensed.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said, “The machines destroyed by the MGCB are the tools of criminals cheating neighbors of their hard-earned money as well as the state out of gaming revenues that support our schools.”

MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams also commented, “Operators running illegal gaming establishments are not reporting earnings or paying taxes. The destruction of these machines sends a clear message that the MGCB is not playing games when it comes to upholding the highest standards of gaming regulation and enforcement.”

The investigations undertaken by the MGCB began in 2015 and resulted in the seizure of 1,195 illegal gaming devices and $470,401 through July 2023. As of November 2022, cease-and-desist letters have also been sent to 48 locations throughout the state.


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